Panel Paper: Graffiti Abatement and Crime Frequency: A Review of Jurupa Valley and Eastvale, CA

Sunday, April 9, 2017 : 12:45 PM
HUB 268 (University of California, Riverside)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Fulong He, Osagie Obaseki and Joanna Franco, University of California, Irvine
Graffiti Abatement and Crime Frequency: A Review of Jurupa Valley and Eastvale, CA

By Fulong He, Joanna Franco, and Osagie J. Obaseki


Graffiti abatement has been an active part of the Jurupa Valley Community Services District (JVCSD) for over two decades. Maintenance workers hired by the JVCSD would track and remove reported cases of graffiti in Jurupa Valley and Eastvale. Graffiti abatement programs are a popular way to maintain neighborhood appearances and encourage social cohesion amongst residents. The Broken Windows theory tells us that graffiti is an early stage of the fear, crime, and safety feedback loop that might signal to residents the level of relative safety of a neighborhood. Maintaining neighborhood appearances has been shown to reduce the level of violent crime in an area. Since gang-related graffiti hints at possible offenders in the area, the probability of higher crime follows locations with multiple graffiti reports. By following reported cases of graffiti to crimes committed in the area, we can identify crime “hotspots” and track them as they change over time between the two cities. Furthermore, we can use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to identify other trends among the communities of Jurupa Valley and Eastvale in terms of population demographics. We can overlap crime data trends provided by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and observe them in relation to specific community demographics, such as income, education levels, costs of homeownership, and number of full-time employees. This project hopes to identify early signs of crime hotspots by following grafitti and demographic changes over time.  By following trends relating to graffiti, crime, and other neighborhood characteristics over time, we can better predict future crime “hotspots” and spot changes that can prevent violent crime by implementing appropriate preventative measures.